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Have a plan today for tomorrow's benefit

Free or low-cost resources exist to help districts start or improve computer science education:

1. Plan. Develop an ambitious but realistic plan, says Chris Stephenson, head of computer science education strategy at Google. Districts should prioritize needs and first focus on the highest priority.

2. Advocate. Find a champion, such as a teacher eager to introduce computer science, says Anthony Owen, state director of computer science education for the Arkansas Department of Education. Courses should be promoted at school assemblies, and guidance counselors should recommend them when high school students pick their schedules.

Link to main storyPrepping students for future computer science jobs

3. Train. Elementary school teachers may be less comfortable with computer science concepts. Free or reasonably priced PD resources include the Computer Science Teachers Association conference and workshops, Stephenson says.

4. Partner. Administrators should ask successful districts for advice, and seek partnerships with local businesses and state and national organizations. These relationships will make students more aware of future job opportunities, says Jennifer Zinth, director of high school and STEM for the Education Commission of the States.

Jessica Ablamsky is a freelance writer in California.